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News and Views from the Superintendent
No. 39. August 1, 2003
Gregory J. Nickels, Mayor
Kenneth R Bounds, Superintendent
A periodic electronic newsletter about Parks and Recreation news, programs, projects and events from Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds
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In this issue:
People's Lodge Golf Management Community Center Levy Update · Nations in Bloom · Sherwood History Files · STEPs Program · Langston Hughes Summer Musical


People's LodgeThe setting was apt — the 18th annual pow wow at the Daybreak Star center in Discovery Park — for a momentous announcement. After many years of negotiations, Mayor Greg Nickels came to the pow wow on July 19 to announce that the City had signed an agreement with the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation (UIATF) and the Magnolia Community Coalition on development plans for the Indian Cultural Center at Discovery Park.

The original plan for a single 148,000-square-foot building was scaled down to three smaller buildings totaling 96,000 s.f. In the revised plan, the street leading to Lawtonwood will be closed, the north meadow expanded, and at least one stream daylighted.

Also known as "People's Lodge," the cultural center was a long-held dream of the late Bernie Whitebear, a longtime UIATF leader and Native American advocate. UIATF has a 99-year renewable lease with the City, signed in 1975, for 19.13 acres of land in Discovery Park. Under terms of the lease, UIATF is authorized to establish and operate an Indian Cultural and Educational Center. The first building constructed in the leased area was the Daybreak Star Center, which opened in 1977. UIATF has long sought to enhance Daybreak Star with an Indian Cultural Center.

As next steps, Parks will work to provide necessary easements and amendments to pertinent building codes, leases and park plans.

Coincidentally, the same morning as the People's Lodge announcement, I attended a ceremony in Leschi where the community unveiled a 19-foot dream catcher sculpture in honor of Bernie Whitebear and Luana Reyes, Bernie's sister.


GolfFour! For the first time, all four of our public golf courses will be under the same management. We have contracted with Premier Golf Centers to take over management of the City's three municipal golf courses at Jefferson Park, Jackson Park, and West Seattle, through an 18-month contract ending on December 31, 2004. During this period, we will send out an Request for Proposals for long-term management of the courses. Premier currently manages the highly successful Interbay Golf Center.

Earlier this year, the City and Municipal Golf of Seattle (MGS) agreed to terminate MGS's role in managing the three 18-hole courses. Since then, the City has negotiated with MGS and one of its main creditors, Frontier Bank, to end the relationship.

Parks will continue to maintain the three 18-hole courses and own all the assets; we will pay Premier a monthly fee to manage the courses. Parks Golf Director Andy Soden will work closely with Premier to smooth the transition and make improvements to golf operations and customer service.

Come out and enjoy one of our great courses this summer! Especially appealing may be the newly renovated Jackson Park Golf Course. Seattle Public Utilities recently completed its drainage improvement project at Jackson that had the added benefit of enhancing the course and upgrading the irrigation system. With the addition of water detention ponds, Holes 1, 3, 7, 9 now have attractive (and challenging) water hazards. Many new plants were planted. Call 206-684-7521 now to sign up for your tee time.


Yesler PlanOur Planning and Development Division is working with great success to implement the 1999 Community Center Levy. To date, construction has started on four of the nine projects, including the new center in International District/Chinatown, the High Point addition, the Sand Point renovation and the new Yesler Community Center. Construction will begin on Jefferson Community Center addition in the coming weeks. Community members and Parks are planning a start of construction celebration at Jefferson in September.

Parks continues to work with the Low Income Housing Institute on a partnership that will yield a new community center in Belltown. Parks and the Seattle Public Library are partnering to create a new center of civic life in the Northgate area with a new community center, park and library. We are well into the planning stages for the Southwest Community Center addition, and are into the beginning planning stages for the Van Asselt Community Center.

For more information on the Community Center Levy Program, please contact Joelle Ligon at 206-233-7929 or You can also visit the program web page at


Nations in BloomSeattle Parks and Recreation is a finalist in an international competition called Nations in Bloom, which recognizes excellence in environmental management and the creation of livable communities. We submitted our application in June. As a finalist, we've been invited to send a delegation to Apeldoorn, Netherlands, in October to make our final presentation. While we at Parks initiated the application, we will consult closely with colleagues in other City departments to complete our final presentation.


Seattle Parks and Recreation's Sherwood History Files are now available online. Please visit our home page at and scroll down to the Sherwood link. These documents provide capsule histories of most of our hundreds of parks and facilities, including dates, dimensions, and origins of park names.

The Sherwood Files are the incredible legacy of Donald N. Sherwood (1916-1981), who worked as an engineer for Parks for 22 years from 1955 to 1977. In the course of his work, which included designing buildings and producing brochures, Sherwood began compiling sketch maps of the parks, annotating them with historical information. He started writing individual histories for each facility when the information didn't fit on the maps. In 1972 he was assigned the responsibility of sorting and preserving Parks records. Although given little time to perform this duty, Sherwood threw himself into the activity with vigor, and continued this work until his position was eliminated, due to a budget reduction, in 1977.


STEPsThis year's Step Toward Environmental Partnership (STEPs) participants are working in Carkeek Park, Camp Long, Loyal Heights Community Center and Green Lake Park, among other parks and facilities. STEPs provides "at risk" and economically disadvantaged teens with environmental training and hands-on work experience. The program is in need of funding and sponsorship. For information or to make a donation, please contact Tom Ostrom, Seattle Parks and Recreation, at 206-684-4957 or


Langston Hughes Summer MusicalSeattle Parks and Recreation and the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center are proud to present the Summer Youth Theatre Program's stage production of The Soul of Beauty and the Beast, showing at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28 and Friday, Aug. 29 at the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St.

Langston Hughes' Summer Youth Theatre Program is an eight-week professional arts-training program that exposes about 70 youth to all aspects of performance production, including dance, singing, and technical production.

I will be in touch soon.

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